The Tigers have checked with the Blue Jays about relief pitchers, according to Danny Knobler CBS Sports. No details beyond that were given.
If it's left-handers the Tigers are interested in -- they checked with the Giants about Javier Lopez, though his asking price is said to be pretty high -- Darren Oliver is the likely target with the Jays. He's pitched in the postseason during seven of his years, appearing in 13 series.
He is now age 42, in his 20th year in the league, and with his ninth club. He spent half his career in Texas and has been with the Jays since last season. Batters are hitting .252/.314/.763 off him this year. He's no LOOGY, though. He's been especially though on righties, who have a .171/.256/.263 slash line, exactly opposite of what you might have expected. Strangely left-handers are hitting like Babe Ruth off him. The opposite split has been routine for Oliver the past few years, though never as dramatic. (In fact, I keep looking at it over and over, convinced I'm messing something up here.)
The Blue Jays are 14.5 games out of first in the AL East, a disappointing year for the club after it went so hard after the playoffs in making moves this offseason. However, they're not expected to be heavy sellers. Outside of possibly moving Oliver and two position players, they may not even make a move, TSN reported earlier in the week.
GM Alex Anthopoulos told TSN:
"We do have depth, and that is an area that we can afford to trade a reliever and still be fine," he said Wednesday. "We're not close to doing anything. As I sit here today I don't think we're trading a reliever. The only free agent in that group is Darren Oliver. So any reliever deal, it can happen now or we can take it into the off-season and make a deal there. I wouldn't rule it out because of that depth."
Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar were both All-Stars this year. But Aaron Loup, Casey Janssen and Juan Perez all have had great seasons as well. Still, there's no reason the Jays need to make a move, making it hard to see any of their names come up.
Anthopoulos told TSN it's hard to make a deal for a reliever:
"By themselves, a team needs a reliever but the flip side (is), 'Well, I only want to pay so much to get a guy (to) pitch 40 innings, especially for the last two months,"' he said. "And it's so difficult to equate just on a one-on-one deal, and that's why it's easier to make them part of a larger deal."
With the deadline under an hour away, we'll know soon whether or not the teams found a deal to agree on.
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